I am a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist working with individuals, couples and families inspiring motivation, hope and healing specializing in the field of addiction. With 20 years in the mental health field, my broad experience encompasses many years of addiction treatments of all kinds (substance abuse, eating disorders, gambling, sex, smoking, shopping) with clients of various backgrounds and cultures. Over time I have developed a program for “Overcoming Addiction Through A Holistic Approach” which involves the 12-step programs, cognitive behavior techniques, psychodynamic and spiritual modalities
When one member of the family is drinking or using, it effects and changes the entire family system. When that member gets sober and begins to heal, it changes the family dynamic again in a whole different way.
One of the most important things a newly sober person must learn is how to take care of themselves in relationships. All of the issues that the addict has been burying by self-medicating will now begin to rise to the surface and how to navigate through this process is one of their biggest challenges. Support during this transitional time is crucial. A 12-step program is important because is teaches you to be accountable and is bonding because you share the issue of addiction. Psychotherapy compliments the 12-step program in that it teaches us that we are each unique and we each have our own personal story to tell. The beginning process of psychotherapy is important because the therapist joins with the addict, establishes trust and becomes the holder of the hope. As therapy progresses, the client becomes more able to mourn their losses and pay their respect to the child they once were while building self respect and dignity. I often associate therapy to the characters on the yellow brick road, off to find the wizard…to restore and return to them courage, strength and an ability to love.
It is important to learn how to nurture yourself and be responsible for your own sobriety. You need to look at sobriety not as a sprint, but as a marathon. My success with newly sober clients and others struggling with addictive disorders comes from my willingness to help them navigate the realities of life using practical, no-nonsense examples and metaphors. Knowledge and insight result in empowerment. Empowerment leads to healthy self-esteem and self-confidence.